The long-awaited live action Akira remake has taken another step toward becoming a reality, as a new report claims that Taika Waititi is close to signing on to direct the film.
Waititi is one of the hottest filmmakers in Hollywood thanks to his helming of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Even though the movie hasn’t been released yet, its trailers have been some of the best we’ve ever seen, and anticipation for the movie is through the roof. Waititi’s previous films include the quirky comedies What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and while both showed off his skill and creativity, it wasn’t until Thor that he proved he could handle a big budget action film. Now, it sounds like he’ll be injecting some of his trademark style into Akira.
Deadline reports that the director is finalizing a deal with Warner Bros. to direct the film, which has been in development hell for what seems like forever. Based on the popular dystopian cyberpunk Japanese manga, Akira was first adapted to the screen in a 1988 anime version from Toho; a movie that has since achieved a massive cult following and is considered by many aficionados to be one of the greatest anime films ever made. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the property in 2002 with plans of turning it into a live action film, but they haven’t had much luck. Over the years, a number of different directors have been attached — Stephen Norrington, Ruairi Robinson, Allen and Albert Hughes, George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Justin Lin, and most recently Jordan Peele — but none have been able to get the project off the ground.
We’ll have to see if Waititi’s deal sticks and the film actually gets made (the plan is apparently to make two films, It-style, with each one covering three of the original manga’s six volumes), but as of right now it looks like a live action Akira movie might finally be on the way for real.